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Export promotion is vital for economic stability says: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of and former provincial of Mian Zahid Hussain last Wednesday said political instability caused PKR devaluation by 26 percent within 6 months, while USD has reached to Rs. 130 in the open market. Pakistan stock exchange (PSE) is declined by 2200 units resulted in huge losses of Rs. 470 billion over the last six months.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said due to dollar has appreciation against Pakistani rupee the external debt burden has increased by approximately Rs. 3000 billion. Further appreciation of dollar is expected and it seems that USD will reach PKR 135 to 140 which will not only increase foreign debt burden but will cause raise in prices of all products including petroleum. Policy rate has reached 7.5 percent after 1 percent recent increase by the State Bank and further raise of 2.5 pc in base rate is expected in coming few months. Amplified interest rate will significantly increase the cost of doing business and discourage investment which can adversely affect the Country GDP and stagnant the economic activities.

The former minister said revolutionary and immediate steps are required to be taken to increase country’s exports to overcome the worsening economic situation of the country. For this purpose, an urgent conference should be called, comprising of top 100 exporters where a sustainable strategy of export promotion should be formed. Sector specific autonomous companies should be established, where each Company is allowed to make reforms for the export boom in its respective sector. Each Company should be responsible to increase existing share of Pakistan in the international trade and get access to new international market in their respective sectors including garments, towel, leather garments, surgical goods, sports goods, carpet, shoes, fruits, vegetables, information technology and rice. Each Company should take care of branding, value addition, research, processing, certification, financing and quality control of respective products and should be comprised of famous experts for each sector.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that increased exports will result in balance of trade, increased foreign exchange, industrial development and improved local & foreign investment, which is highly desirable. Tax base should be widened instead of increasing tax rate to support economy in a long run. For political stability and long lasting peace in the Country, institutions, Government and political leaders should collectively work so that Pakistan grows and attain the level of economically strong Islamic Country in the World.

CEJ-IBA and KPC conduct election reporting workshop

The Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration (CEJ-IBA), Karachi, and the Karachi Press Club conducted their first collaborative workshop on ’Mobile Journalism and Election Coverage on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at the Karachi Press Club.

The day started with a session on mobile journalism, conducted by trainer Manzar Elahi Turk. He introduced the concept of mobile journalism to reporters and shared tools and tips on how effectively they can use their phones to cover elections.

CEJ director Kamal Siddiqi spoke to the journalists about media ethics and the coverage of the upcoming elections. Journalists should be mindful of ethics and safety while reporting during elections, he advised. They should report but not become part of the elections, he added. “Journalists are observers not activists.”

Co-trainer Farooq Moin spoke on how journalists must do their legwork ahead of the elections. They should stick to their work and not indulge in giving opinions, he said. “Journalist should have prior knowledge about election rules and regulations.”

Later, senior journalist Abul Hasanat conducted a session on different aspects of profiles a reporter should focus on while reporting on constituencies, “Look for past development projects and funds allocated for the constituency, then write about problems, issues faced by people living in those areas,” he advised.

CEJ lecturer Shahzeb Ahmed held a session on data journalism and how reporters can use data to tell stories. “Your stories can become more appealing and credible for readers when you incorporate elements of data and visuals,” he said.

The last sessions of the day were conducted by seasoned journalist Abdul Jabbar Nasir. He covered two sessions on pre and post-election analysis, reporting in the field on the elections day and how to report the election results. Nasir, who has vast experience of covering the general elections, local governments’ elections and the by-elections in the metropolis, shared with the participants various techniques on drawing analysis of the contesting candidates and political parties as well as reporting the election results.

He told the journalists to carefully read the election nomination forms and election results forms of the Election Commission of Pakistan, as there were various sections that could provide important information and data.

He minutely covered various aspects needed to accurately report the polls results and how the journalists covering them should behave with the polling staff at the polling stations. He underscored the need for closely observing the atmosphere in the constituencies of the elections, timing of the votes and public turnout needed for comprehensive reporting on the polling day.

Karachi Press Club President Ahmed Khan Malik and Secretary Maqsood Yousfi lauded the collective efforts of the Karachi Press Club’s Skills Development Committee and the team of the Center for Excellence in Journalism-IBA for conducting ’Mobile Journalism and Election Coverage Workshop.’

In the end certificates were distributed among participants. The training was attended by 40 journalists.


CEJ-IBA and Nestlé Pakistan conduct health reporting workshop in Islamabad

The Centre for Excellence in Journalism at the Institute of Business Administration (CEJ-IBA), Karachi, and Nestlé Pakistan conducted a collaborative one-day workshop on ’Basics of Health Reporting: Nutrition as a Source of News’ on Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Islamabad. The training was attended by more than 20 journalists belonging to Mardan, Gilgit, Islamabad and Peshawar.

The workshop was led by Kamal Siddiqi director CEJ, who conducted a session on ethics in reporting. He spoke to the journalists about media ethics and how to analyze health and nutrition related news stories from local media. Journalists should be mindful of ethics and safety while reporting or editing, he advised. “Health reporting is very important part of journalism and we have to be mindful about reporting correctly,” he added.

Participants also examined the existing health and nutrition news and gaps in reporting. A session on Pakistan’s health sector and policies was led by Dr Fauzia Waqar, a public health specialist. She spoke on major challenges to address malnutrition. “Your diet is what you eat, and nutrition is what you get from it,” she said.

Ali Khizar Head of Research at Business Recorder, conducted a session on the economic cost of malnutrition and the role played by the food industry. “Malnutrition inhibits the mental growth of infants and children,” he said. “In Pakistan, this damage is very visible as the labor productivity has decreased in comparison to India and Pakistan,” he added.

Later, Mukhtar Alam senior health reporter conducted a session on health reporting in Pakistan. He focused on what challenges reporters face while reporting on health in the country. He also shared tips on how effectively reporters can report on the health beat.

Muhammad Rahamdil Khan introduced the concept of mobile journalism to reporters and shared tools and tips on how effectively they can use their phones for health reporting purposes. “Every reputed and known news channel and organization in the world today is adopting mobile journalism technology to make news-gathering easier, time and cost effective,” he said, adding that MoJo kits have made work easier as reporters don’t have to run between the field and the office and they can work on their mobile phones.

Waqar Ahmad Nestlé Pakistan’s Head of Corporate Affairs, said, Nestlé Pakistan takes great pride in collaborating with CEJ-IBA for the second consecutive year in capacity building for journalists in the field of nutrition. In line with UN’s Sustainable Development Goal # 3, Good health and well-being, formulating this partnership we would definitely achieve our goals of adding value in prioritizing reporting on malnutrition in Pakistan which is a huge challenge to the health sector.

At the end of the workshop, certificates were distributed among the participants.

Increased interest rate will further push cost of doing business; Industry friendly policies should be implemented: Mian Zahid Hussain

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of and former provincial of Mian Zahid Hussain last Monday said effective July 16, 2018, the State Bank of Pakistan has interest rate by 1 percent. New policy rate is set to be 7.5 percent which will increase the cost of doing business as well as inflation. Current account deficit has reached USD 16 billion in July to May 2018 which was $ 11.1 billion during the same period of previous year. Estimation for inflation this year was 5.2 percent, which is now revised to 6 percent while the facts and figures indicate that it will hit 7 percent.

The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said State Bank has estimated the growth rate for the current year by 5.5 percent which was targeted to be 6.2 percent. The impact of growing exports has been reduced by the increased imports, specially the strong demand for productive imports like metals; transport, machinery and petroleum to support increased economic activity and rapid increase in international oil prices have pushed the current account deficit to the level which is not sustainable in the short run.

The former minister said that despite various administrative measures and devaluation of PKR by 15 %, Pakistan has reached to the highest trade deficit in the history. During the last fiscal year, import bill has widened by 15.1 percent which the highest ever import bill. During the year, imports have increased by 15.1 percent while exports grew by 13.7 percent. Exports totalled to $ 23.2 billion while imports totalled to $ 60.9 billion resulted in trade deficit of $ 37.7 billion, which is 16 percent higher than that of the year 2016.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that immediate measures are required to be taken to boost exports so that trade deficit can be controlled. Everyday increase in price of US dollar has worsened the trade activities and increased the cost of doing business in the Country. Open market rate of USD has increased by Rs. 5 which has caused reduction of over 600 points in Karachi stock exchange.

He said that constant devaluation of PKR requires immediate attention. If no measures have taken to sustain the PKR value, trade and business in the Country will adversely affected and inflation will raise creating trouble for all sectors including business community. Instead of short term policies, long term and sustainable policies should be implemented to support the declining economy of the Country. Economic decline is due to political instability and restarting of terror activities. Political leaders and policy makers should collective work for political stability and sustainable peace in the Country, in order to attain the economic stability.

IBA – CEE, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry ink MoU

An MoU was signed between Family Managed Business Program, IBA Center for Executive Education (CEE) and the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI). The MoU was signed by Dr. Huma Baqai, Associate Dean IBA and Mr. Abdul Basit Haji Abdul Razzak, Acting President KCCI. This partnership will help develop a framework for learning and will also promote Management education within family businesses and small & medium enterprises.

Attendees included, Dr. Izhar Hussain, Director CEE; Mr. Muhammad Ismail, Health and Education Secretary; Mr. Shamim Ahmed Firpo, Ex Officio KCCI; Dr. Islam Hamid, Advisor Health and Education Sub Committee and Mr. Junaid Esmail Makda, KCCI Presidential Candidate and members of the managing committee.

Under the MoU, the IBA and KCCI will undertake efforts to strengthen the academia and industry linkages. Joint programs on family managed businesses will also be conducted. Additionally, both partners will collaborate to document best practices in business and family business cases. The MoU will also facilitate the mutual sharing of research.

Addressing the audience, Mr. Razzak, spoke about the role of the KCCI in serving the business community. He highlighted the contribution of family managed businesses to the economy and also expressed his concerns regarding sustainability of family businesses.

Ms. Aysha Anas Iftikhar, Academic Director Family Managed Business Program also discussed the challenges and opportunities of a family business. She emphasized on investing in family business governance mechanisms to ensure sustainability. The participants were also informed of the family business programs, offered at the IBA.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Huma Baqai shared a roadmap for the success of family businesses. She emphasized on the need for family businesses to tackle HR challenges and to have an outward focus. She highlighted the role of family businesses in corporate transformations. Dr. Baqai advised family businesses to get listed and seek the benefits of improved governance to gain visibility.

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